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E3 2016 – Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity Preview (PS4)

The Touhou series is finally making it’s way to Western audiences, with three games coming over. At XSEED Games, I was able to get my hands on the PlayStation 4 version of Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. Check out my full hands-on preview below.

At the beginning of my demo, I was given the choice of playing as either Remilia Scarlet, a 500-year old vampire that looks 12, or her devoted maid Sakuya Izayoi. Each character presents a different take on the story itself, and there is also a third character coming that will unlock a short side story. Remilia is immortal and bored, so with Sakuya, she learns of a mysterious monster that’s terrorizing the countryside. Now, she has something of interest to check out and sets off to find this monster. I was told the game will take about 12 hours to play through for both characters and the side stories.

Curiousity Kills

The gameplay is a change from the usual shoot-’em-ups that the series has  become known for; instead opting for a more RPG approach to the game. Each character has a regular attack, along with two special attacks and an ultimate attack that builds up as you defeat enemies. Sakuya is your up close fighter, while Remilia is a bit more distance oriented. Battles happen in real-time, very much like old school Zelda games, as you need to study the patterns of your enemies attacks, dodge, and then strike. 

Though Scarlet Curiosity has strayed from it’s shoot-’em-up roots, it still has aspects you would find in such a game. Like having to dodge projectiles fired from enemies on the screen or during boss fights, as there are tons of thing flying at you, just like a really good shoot-’em-up. The boss battle I faced in one level was tough, as I really needed to pay attention to her attack patterns, and jump over all sorts of oncoming projectiles. It does a great job of being accessible, yet difficult. The characters are a bit hard to control at times, especially when trying to hit someone with a special move, but you kind of get used to it and adjust.

Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity will be releasing this year for the PlayStation 4, though no release date has been given.